Pet Food

The global pet food industry is currently growing at around 4.5% per year and pet food experts agree that this trend will continue into the near future. Unlike animal feeds where nutritional and physical feed requirements are driven by the animal, pet food nutrition and food requirements are driven by pet owners.

Pets are treated as family members, and the “Humanisation of Pets” results in very interesting trends in terms of nutrition and pet food manufacturing, of which the following are just a few examples:

• modern-day pet owners call themselves pet parents
• they refer to their pets as companion animals
• they tend to adopt the same requirements we have for healthy human nutrition in pet food nutrition, and pet food products such as grain-free; vegetarian; organic; low carb; high fresh meat inclusion; GMO-free; dental care products and pet treats are quickly becoming the trend
• these and other factors are driving the requirement for novelty ingredients of exceptional variety, quality and freshness to be used in Premium and Ultra Premium pet foods
• conventional ingredients will always be there for basic or mainstream pet food nutrition

However, novelty ingredients and in particular a very wide variety of fresh meat and fish ingredients became driving forces in pet food ingredient selection and the subsequent choice of technology to process these ingredients in pet food.

Ottevanger Milling Engineers & Petfood Manufacturing

At Ottevanger Milling Engineers we acknowledge and understand how trends in the pet industry impact the design of pet food processing solutions. We took great care over many years developing technologies and equipment meeting and exceeding the growing demands of the global petfood industry. We take time consulting with customers to ensure we fully understand customer requirements and more specifically requirements of the specific market the customer is serving. We do not promote or apply a “standard” Petfood Plant design and each project is assessed on its own merits.

The following schematic presents the basics of the Petfood manufacturing process.

Careful consideration of intake, cleaning and storage of both dry and wet raw ingredients.  Dust control, odour control and potential cross-contamination enjoys special attention during design.

The nature and type of wet ingredients to be used in formulations determines the processing technology we apply and the subsequent infrastructure required. Introduction of wet ingredient is introduced into the process at a point where the risk of cross-contamination is minimised.

State-of-the-art batching technology and equipment is used to very accurately batch both dry and wet ingredients. Ottevanger also manufactures and supplies the latest technology in handling and batching of macro and micro ingredients such as vitamins and minerals. Cross contamination between batches is minimised through proper process design.

Efficiency of thermal processing and appearance of final product relies to a large extend on proper size reduction of raw ingredients. Ottevanger Hammermills are designed to deliver accurate particle size distribution curves and equiped with automatic screen change solutions make operational management a breeze.  Course and fine grinding solutions are tailored to retain ingredient quality while meeting size reduction requirements.

The choice of extrusion technology is determined by raw ingredient, formulation and final product requirements. Semi moist petfoods and treats require a completely different approach in terms of introduction of fresh meat or fish into the process as well as conveying to the down-stream process steps. Online process control of operating conditions ensures optimum final product quality.  Odour control becomes vital from this point down stream the process.

Different approaches are followed for drying and cooling of semi-moist petfoods and pet treats compared to conventional petfoods. The same applies for application of liquids. Ottevanger have several options for coating, vacuum coating included. The Ottevanger vacuum coating process allows for layering liquids and attractants

Semi moist petfood requires a different approach to intermediate storage of final product to minimise the potential of product damage. The petfood industry has a very wide requirement for final product packaging and bagging. Great care is taken to ensure an Ottevanger plant design takes these requirements into account


One of the key issues to successful petfood manufacturing is a process control system designed to meet functional, operational and quality requirements. This includes careful consideration of process Critical Control Points(CCP) and online control of processing parameters.

At Ottevanger Milling Engineers we take great care of the environmental impact of our plant design. This includes the environment inside the processing plant where people have to operate, but also the greater environment outside the processing plant. Health and Safety as well as the control of Dust, Odour , Noise and the Visual Impact of our creations therefore enjoy detailed attention